Brisbane Salvation Army centre forced to turn away addicts

SAM MUGGLETON

 

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Ice addicts seeking assistance from the Salvation Army must now be placed on a four week waiting list. Photo: Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s Moonyah Recovery Services Centre have been forced to turn away methamphetamine   addicts due to limited resources.

57 per cent of clients currently at the recovery service centre are ‘ice’ users, a rise of  25 per cent since 2012.

With an additional 70 per cent of patients reporting a mental health condition, the Moonyah Recovery Centre have been operating with limited resources.

As a result, the centre has had to turn people away because of limited capacity and increasing demand. Currently addicts wanting help from the centre must wait between four weeks to a number of months before being granted access.

Leon Gordon, programs manager at the centre said it was alarming given the seriousness of their patients issues and the limited resources they have available.

“The evidence suggests with ice users that they take a much longer time to settle once they come into the program. It can take them more than eight weeks to adapt to the conditions,” Mr Gordon said.

The struggle to deal with demand has called for extended state and federal government funding of the program, including money for more beds.

Operations manager of Moonyah Recovery Services Centre, Gerard Byrne, said the level of current funding was appreciated, but left gaps in the program.

“On one hand, it’s good that people are seeking assistance with their drug use, but not being able to provide the service when it’s requested impacts the person’s ability to come into treatment and be engaged,” Mr Byrne said.

More than 100,000 people have looked to the Salvation Army’s Bridge Program for help since its inception in 1961, with the Moonyah centre playing a major role.

 

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